The Rand firmed this morning against the Dollar after US jobs data at the end of last week came in weaker than expected, giving the currency a reprieve at the beginning of a week that sees the release of a slew of domestic economic data. The Rand had fallen to a 5-week low after Thursday’s credit rating downgrade by Moody’s that cited poor economic prospects for South Africa.
US employers added 214 000 jobs to their payrolls last month, missing forecasts for 231 000, leading to slight cooling of investor confidence in the US economy that had seen the dollar reach a 4-year high against a basket of major currencies. “The slight disappointment was enough to significantly dampen global markets’ exuberance,” John Cairns of Rand Merchant Bank said in market note. Cairns warned that the previous week’s volatility – that saw the rand fall as far as R11.3600 – may continue this week.